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Environmental fate & pathways

Biodegradation in water: screening tests

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Description of key information

Diethylamine is readily biodegradable (according to OECD criteria).

Key value for chemical safety assessment

Biodegradation in water:
readily biodegradable
Type of water:
freshwater

Additional information

The biodegradation potential of diethylamine (CAS 109 -89 -7) was assessed in a modified MITI test according to OECD 301C (NITE, 1988). As inoculum, non-adapted activated sludge from 10 different sewage treatment plants was used. After 28 days, a degradation without nitrification of 89% based on oxygen consumption was observed. The calculated value for nitrification was 69% (BOD(NO2)). Based on the measurement of ammonia, nitrification was insignificant. Diethylamine was considered to be readily biodegradable according to OECD criteria.


The result is supported by a ready biodegradability test according to 79/831/EEC, Annex V, part C, comparable to OECD 301F. As inoculum, municipal activated sludge was used. The measured BOD values of the test were used in a recalculation for the degradability considering nitrification as well as not considering nitrification. The degradability was studied with six replicates; however, one replicate was identified as an outlier as it deviated clearly from the degradation curve o the other replciates. The study was considered to meet the validity criteria. Without considering nitrification, diethylamine was degraded to 89% after 28 days, the 10-day window was met. When considering nitrification, the degradability was lower with a mean value of 67% after 28 days. The 10-d window was met in four replicates and slightly failed in one replicate (58% instead of 60%); however, this devation was minimal and therefore, the substance was still assessed to be readily biodegradable according to OECD criteria (BASF AG 1990, report no.: 01.89/0742; BASF SE, 2021, recalculation).